Characterization: Wanda

…so, anyway, Wanda looked at him with murder in her eyes and said—nothing.

It's funnier if you knew her, truly.
But if you know me, you know a little about her.I rarely write of my father's family; not because of lack of interest, but because of lack of knowledge. My father has several siblings, most of whom are still living, but whom I have not seen in years. Moving seven hours away virtually guarantees that you lose touch with many of the family figures that you counted as regulars among your childhood holiday celebrations.

Retloc Returns

The night before a visitor arrives is always a night of quiet, panicked, introspection. Especially when it's a visitor I've not seen in a while, and if it's someone whose opinion I trust.

Tomorrow, Colter arrives for a short visit. He's headed out east to attend a concert and putting in a side trip to Alabama as a bonus.

Colter and Amy, doing their usual photo pose.Mc and Mc

(A picture of us from our last meeting if you're curious—come to think of it, I'm wearing that sweater right now. Full photoset is here.)

His is a friendship filled with memories of every color and shape. Colter, who let me sleep in his dorm room heaven knows how many times during my freshman year while I was distraught over another, floundering, friendship.

A letter, found: Mamaw's apple butter recipe

Perhaps this is the week in which I let others speak for me? I'd fully intended to write a full-blown entry today, but my findings a few minutes ago mean that I think I'm going to let someone else's words speak for me again today.

The letter is dated May 10, 2001. I have been looking for it since June, and it reappeared about twenty minutes ago while I was cleaning out under my desk. It is in my grandmother's handwriting, and it details her apple butter recipe:

I use a crock pot to cook the apples in—that way it is not necessary to stand and stir a lot. Then, too, the apples to do not stick to the cookware as bad as when using an open pot.

"Slice apples into the crockpot—fill it full—put about 3 or 4 cups of sugar on top and let it set overnight. Add spices—cinnamon, allspice & a little nutmeg—about 1 tsp. each or whatever suits your taste—cook 3 or 4 hours.*

A letter, a confession. Hello, Rachel.

In retrospect, a hiatus was exactly what I needed. I wasn't happy with anything I had to say; none of it felt meaningful or thought-provoking. So I decided to take a break, throw myself into something else for about a week, and I knew I'd come back full of ideas and ready to tackle the world—in a literary sense, of course.

Serendipity: hamburgers, laundry, the things we learn

A small dash of serendipity struck this afternoon. Kat and I are going to make arrangements to go to Birmingham sometime soon—probably next weekend. She needs a particular facial cleanser from a store whose closest outlet is in Birmingham, and we both want to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We'll combine trips.

Like today; we combined forces at Costco. Costco, like Sam's, sells everything in bulk. (Need a metric ton of crackers? They've got them.) Since we both live in small households, this isn't always useful for us. We all know that meat is significantly cheaper there, but the packages are so large that they're not terribly useful for us. It occurred to me a few months ago that if two of us were willing to combine forces, that we could split some purchases and come out with a lot of meat for the less-than-horrific amounts that we're accustomed to paying.

The talisman arpeggio

"I'd noticed that when you were working with numbers you often wiggled your fingers."

A very simple motion, that. Look away momentarily and it is easily missed: an arpeggio played from left pinky to left thumb, and occasionally even crossing over to the right hand. What am I doing?

I'm multiplying.